Forty Years Ago

Can you rule and be lenient? Or even fair? Blunt as the question seems, it would be put to test here when Mayor Howard Mohr’s recent decision to have police issue “courtesy tickets” to excuse motorists who violate minor traffic ordinances or are pulled over because of substandard condition of a vehicle. The trial balloon would be part of a larger highway safety program. Such practices, however, are often met with opposition.

Editor Claude Walker, in his column, cautioned that the idea might not be altogether workable: “What about the out-of-town motorist not so familiar with local traffic. Police have been told that issuance of tickets for minor violations would be at their discretion. Would there be an overload of decision-making placed on them? And what if, for instance, a police officer risks his life to chase down a speeder, possibly endangering his life or the lives of other innocent drivers and pedestrians”only to find it’s a first time offense? Is he expected to give the speeder a courtesy excuse with a verbal scold?”

Time was when this village allowed overnight street parking. A majority of Forest Park citizens regarded a proposal to ban this as unworkable. Much controversy followed. Then, finally, after a year, the ban on overnight parking here took effect and some measurable results were seen. Twelve months later, Mayor Howard Mohr and Police Chief Elmer Schnurstein announced a 20 percent decrease in crime”largely in stolen cars, burglary, vandalism and sex offences. Things were only to get better and the crime rate lower when the village installed a state-of-the-art street lighting system.

From the Feb.-Mar. 1966 issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Someone acted on the notion of a community vegetable garden in an unused tract of land south of Industrial Drive (Cemetery Road). It proved a popular success for the better part of a decade. Individual plots measuring 20’x20′ could be had for a $10 deposit. The “someone” who got the idea in motion was Commissioner Ed Lambke”another well established Forest Park name.

And the names go on. Names of noted Forest Park citizens who made a difference living, working and contributing here. Fred C. Becker was well remembered in town when he passed away March 16, 1976. Fred was a former mayor and pioneer businessman who co-founded the Reich & Becker Insurance Agency. After directing that business for 57 years, he accepted the appointment of mayor of our village while elected Mayor Vernon Reich served in the armed forces during WWII. In 1973, Becker was chosen as the village’s Man of the Year by the Fraternal Order of Police.

From the Mar./Apr. 1976 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

The time was 5:15 p.m. on a Saturday. The place was the 7300 block of Jackson Blvd. The weather was mild, but the murderous intent was apparently cold and calculated. The intended victim was unsuspecting. The situation: a motorist pulls up to a pedestrian on Jackson. He asks directions. The Super Dope on the passenger side then unloads his best version of a knuckle sandwich to the victim’s jaw”a true sucker punch. The driver, no model of gentility himself, barks out a demand for money”that this is a robbery, and reportedly slams the victim on the head with his rooty-toot-tooter. What to do for a finish? How about a bullet in the cheek? No dollars richer for their efforts, this pair of scabby-faced heaps of parrot droppings (Thank you, Monty Python) flushed, no doubt, with their accomplishment, then drive off. The victim, from Maywood, was taken to Loyola.

From the April 1985 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Al Buerger, retired and fondly remembered math teacher at the Middle School, did some nice columns for this paper. Now living in Lyons, maybe he still keeps his hand in writing. This time, his subject was “Doctors”the avoidance of.” Since they can’t be totally avoided, the subject became “Doctors”reluctant selection of.” For Al, the very last thing he feared hearing was the worst. Should fate decree he hear this, the theme became, “Doctors”location of.” Or, more precisely, “Doctors”nearness to a tavern”; the better to soothe his nerves and fears. Well, you get the plot.

Who Remembers? Because I got this swell book of radio personality photos, here are more names associated with the medium called radio: Ray Block … Ralph Edwards … Lanny Ross … Don Ameche … Jim Ameche … Freeman Gosden and Charles Correl (Amos & Andy) … Eve Arden … Eddie Cantor … Morton Downey … Norman Brokenshire.

From the March 18, 1996 issue of the Forest Park Review